In 1977, actor Roger Moore as the redoubtable James Bond made a kind of film history by riding a “wetbike” – an early type of personal watercraft – which at the time was a novel and not well known craft. As Bond films often have done, the movies helped fan the tiny spark of this little known craft into a fad and then into the racing and recreational industry that surrounds today’s PWC.
Hammock Publishing makes its own contribution to PWCing by publishing Ride PWC Magazine for the American Watercraft Association (www.awahq.org). The current issue of Ride (Nov-Dec 2006) showcases the new 2007 models and shows how far they have some since Bond’s bouncy little ‘bike. Today’s models can carry up to three people, have stock engines packing as much as 250 hp., and even carry satellite radio and GPS units so M will always know where you are. You can choose sitdown models, which are by far the best-selling models, or standup versions that have long been popular with racers and freestyle riders who execute amazing leaps and bounds.
In addition to the new model review, this issue reports on the results of the 25th annual World Finals at Lake Havasu, Ariz., and on other racing venues. We also meet a couple from West Tennessee who fell in love aboard a jetski – after each had retired! – amd ride along with AWA members from Lake Superior to Wet – sorry, West – Virginia to Old Mexico.
Also, AWA Executive Director Chris Manthos outlines the challenges facing watercraft enthusiasts who want only to be treated equally with other power boaters, and not discriminated against because they ride small, nimble craft.
As always, the AWA stresses safe and responsible riding in every issue of Ride. Had it been around in 1977, AWA would have strenuously objected to Bond’s riding a PWC without a personal flotation device. Good heavens, 007, that kind of thing is dangerous! (Of course, knowing Bond, his PFD would have come equipped with martini makings and a blonde.)